AK DOC Today

News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections

Spring Creek Correctional Center Employee of the Year

Spring Creek Correctional Center is happy to announce that Officer Jeremy Sandy has been selected as the Spring Creek Correctional Center Employee of the Year!

Jeremy is an exceptionally enthusiastic and competent officer and a total pleasure to work with. He has a positive “can do” attitude, is well liked throughout the facility and is well supported by his team in the Segregation Housing Unit (House 1). It takes a good communicator and a skilled (and patient) officer to work with this population and he does it exceptionally well. Officer Sandy is a role model for professionalism for all who work with him as his dedication and drive is of particular note. His commitment is evident in all he does and he can relied upon to do the job right the first time. Often times many staff, particularly new staff who are still under field training in the segregation unit, will look to him for advice and the working knowledge to succeed in this tough environment. Even as a fairly junior officer with only about two years of service he has completed the Range Officer course, is on the Spring Creek Special Operations Response Team (SORT) and strives to better himself on a daily basis. Officer Sandy is usually one of the first to respond in an incident and is physically and mentally tough enough to handle each situation with consummate professionalism as well as an outstanding attitude!

The Flying University

Scott Burton produced and narrated a documentary that highlights a literary and philosophy program at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. A special thank you goes to Superintendent Busby for allowing the filming of the documentary, and to the staff at Lemon Creek for supporting the project and being available for interviews. The program is 22 minutes long and can be viewed on the 360North website at http://www.360north.org/flying-university/

Tenth Annual Kairos Retreat at Wildwood CC

Wildwood Correction Center hosted the 10th annual Kairos Retreat February 11-14. Kairos is a international prison program that is facilitated by the local faith community. 40 volunteers from Kasilof, Soldotna, Sterling and Kenai facilitate the meetings, discussion groups, music and programming food. Most of the volunteers are veterans from previous Kairos retreats. This years event had over 40 cleared to go and about 35 made it all the way through the retreat. The topics addressed include, Spiritual walk, internal barriers, forgiveness, anger management, character traits and developing good relationships. Two days, Friday and Saturday start at 8 am and conclude at 8 pm. The Sunday programming is culminated by the Closing Ceremony. The inmates are told that they will be asked to stand up in front of their peers and share what they have received from having attended. What they don’t know is that a group of visitors, (all screened) will also join the ceremony. At the designated time and while the men are singing, the visitors quietly sneak in behind the curtain. At a designated time, the current falls and the men see nearly 70 witnesses to their testimony. The impact is a part of the Kairos experience and program. The visitors are always highly impacted by what they hear and how the program has changed some lives.

Special thanks go out to Supt. Hibpshman and the WCC staff. Kairos staff and this year’s Director Dennis Murray did a wonderful job.

Goose Creek Barber School Successes

Earlier this month on a clear Sunday morning, four inmates entered a salon in Wasilla, Alaska, wearing yellow jump suits and iron leg chains. They left in the same attire. The only difference was now they could say they are professional barbers.

The Barber School is a journey that started over a year and a half ago at Goose Creek Correctional Center. It has proven to be a vehicle to success for inmates Adam Barger, John Samuelson, Jariss Black, and Terral Wright. They passed their written and practical application tests with extremely high scores.

The Board of Barbers & Hairdressers Chairwoman, Glenda Ledford, stated the Goose Creek barbers were a higher level of student than normal. So much so, that all three examiners agreed they would hire any of the students immediately. “That’s when I knew the program was working,” said Sergio Colgan, the Alaska licensed inmate barber instructor at Goose Creek.

The inmate-instructor played an intricate role in starting and organizing the barber school. Inmate Colgan models a disciplined work and study environment and encourages participants to demonstrate their work ethic and motivation to succeed upon release.

The curriculum was 18 months, which included hands on training, lecture, and book testing; all while conducting general population haircuts, Monday through Friday, mornings and afternoons for over 700 fellow inmates. By becoming a barber, the men are choosing a career that is a credible job choice. Barbers have the ability to be their own boss, set their own schedules, and with enough ambition, make above average wages.

One of the main goals for DOC is to offer reformative programming that will likely reduce recidivism. Goose Creek is off to great start in this endeavor and has already started their second group of student barbers. Becoming a barber is a creative way for future returning citizens to transition back into society and be a positive role model in the community.

“I’m happy to see these guys succeed. I want them to be better than the average barber walking the street; they have to be better,” said Colgan.

Killisnoo Island Cemetery Revitalization Project

Lemon Creek Correctional Center Inmate Council president, Jack Earl, submitted photographs of completed memorial crosses to be donated to the Killisnoo Island Cemetery. The project, entitled “Remembrance & Honor” is not only an artistic expression, but also a personal representation of honor to so many. A copper plaque on each cross is engraved with the project title and the phrase “into Gods hands but not forgotten.” The intent of the project was to show that even though they are incarcerated, offenders have honor and want to give back to their communities.

Lemon Creek Celebrates 2015 Employee of the Year

From Lemon Creek Correctional Center’s Superintendent Bruce Busby:

For selfless dedication to the Department of Corrections, this facility, and for outstanding services above and beyond the call of duty, it is my honor to present Sgt. Bobby (Bo) Pierce with this award in recognition of his selection as Lemon Creek Correctional Center’s 2015 Employee of the Year.

Sgt. Pierce was selected for this honor by a diverse group of peers, supervisors, subordinates, and administrative staff. This past year Sgt. Pierce was asked to shoulder an unprecedented level of responsibility, to which he responded with professionalism and a can-do attitude. Sgt. Pierce’s tireless devotion and dedication to duty reflects great credit upon himself, this facility and the Department of Corrections.

Congratulations Sgt. Pierce!

Spring Creek VoTec Cabinet Donated to Seward High School

Spring Creek Correctional Center has developed a strong partnership with the Seward Community. Over the past few months the inmates have been able to donate to Seward High School through fundraisers and hobby craft donations. The Booster club spearheaded by SCCC’s very own Sgt. Brian Morris approached the Vocation Department with a request to build a cabinet for the Athletic Department. SCCC’s newly graduated NCCER Carpentry Level One students built a 60″ x48″ x 24″ cabinet to meet the needs of Seward HS. The cabinet will be put to immediate use for the high school Annual Seward Seahawk Classic! Merchandise will be sold to help support the Athletic Department for years to come. SCCC would like to thank the Seward Booster Club and SCCC Administration for making this all possible. “Measure twice cut once.”

Wildwood Selects 2015 Employees of the Year

Each year, Wildwood Correctional Complex selects its Employees of the Year. Nominations are submitted by the entire staff and selected by an employee selection committee. Employees are selected for demonstrated professional duty performances, service to the state and Wildwood Correctional Complex and the support and assistance provided to their fellow employees. Robert Hibpsham, Superintendent of Wildwood Correctional Complex announced this year’s winners as Correctional Officer Paul Bell and Correctional Officer Lonnie Denney.

The two winners of the employee of the year award for 2015 are truly distinguished employees. Officer Bell, a 23 year Department of Corrections employee and Denney, a 12 year veteran of the department were selected for the award because they have been consistent, strong performers, both team players with good attitudes, a balanced demeanor, commitment to professionalism, and their ability to interact well with staff and prisoners alike.

Both Correctional Officer Bell and Denney are positive role models and greatly contribute to an effective work force and a positive work environment.